EDGE is a jobs and skills partnership, focused on Alconbury, with a team based in Huntingdon town centre that works with local training providers, careers advice services, local authorities and the Jobcentre, and connects the companies building and occupying the Alconbury site with local jobseekers.
EDGE has been operating since 2016, running careers fairs for schools, and securing apprenticeships and work experience opportunities – for example in February this year EDGE celebrated National Apprenticeship Week with companies on site at Alconbury. In last year’s report we noted that 53 local people had already found employment through the service.
In July 2017, Steve Kesler became EDGE’s 100th success, in a story typical of EDGE’s work. Steve was referred to EDGE by the local jobcentre, after a period of unemployment had left him lacking confidence in his future prospects. At EDGE he met adviser Christine Dade, who invested the face-to-face time and support Steve needed to turn his situation around. Steve soon found an opportunity at T&C electricals in St Neots, where he now works.
Since July, another 30 people like Steve have used support from EDGE to rejoin the world of work. EDGE also helps people out of work into self-employment, one example being local skateboarder Jason Emery who has turned his hobby into a business offering lessons at Alconbury’s new skate park, with financial support from Urban&Civic. In February, we were delighted to see this work acknowledged by the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Damian Green when he visited EDGE in Huntingdon with prospective Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayoral Candidate James Palmer, to find out more about our innovative partnership-based approach.
“Going to EDGE was a really positive experience. From the moment I walked into the EDGE shop I was made to feel welcome. Christine spent time talking to me and discussing my past experience and skills. She helped bring my CV up to date and when I left, I was feeling much more confident. She said I wouldn’t be out of work for another month and she was right.”